Why the ‘Weekly’ makes political endorsements


“It is only in our decisions that we are important.”

— Jean-Paul Sartre, 20th-century philosopher

“We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”

— Elie Wiesel, author, political activist, professor and Nobel Peace Prize winner

If life is anything it is a series of decisions. And there is no question that the decisions we make during the course of our lives influence our happiness and well-being — indeed, our very identity — more than any other factor. Among the many personal decisions we face during the course of our lives, there are 10 that are considered to be paramount in their scale and impact:

Education — where to go to school and what level of education to pursue

Marriage — when to get married and whom to pick or divorce from as a life partner

Children — whether to have kids, how many, and what parenting styles and techniques to use

Career — what line of work to pursue and who to work for

Diet — what to eat and whether to consume meat, GMOs, non-organic produce and many other choices

Community — whether to live in a big city, a small town or in a rural area

Buying a home — what kind of home to live in, how big, how expensive, how labor-intensive

Acquisitions — furniture, car, computers, TVs and other home furnishings

Investments — how to build a retirement fund and create financial security

Medical — what approach to take with respect to illnesses, procuring health insurance and end-of-life decisions

These are big decisions that we all face during the course of our lives, and as such they require careful consideration. So much so that in all cases we will generally go to great lengths to avail ourselves of authoritative, trusted sources of information before making our choice. For example, a student and her family will conduct extensive research on a variety of colleges and invest substantially in a “college tour” before making a decision on where to apply. Similarly, in choosing a career and employer workers will carefully consider the relative rewards involved with certain jobs and look into various companies before making these important decisions.

With respect to consumer decisions, such as buying a car, we will typically take the time to investigate the makes and models we might be interested in by consulting trusted sources of information (probably not just the salesperson at the dealership) before signing on the dotted line. And when it comes to addressing parenting dilemmas, like how to reward or punish our kids for good and bad behavior, we will consult the experts — educators, child psychologists and the like — to choose a course of action.

We all need trusted, authoritative sources to help us make our decisions, and, while there is no guarantee that accessing these sources will result in a good decision being made, chances are that on the whole our decisions will work out better when they are made after careful consideration and with reliable information in hand.

In short, that’s the reason Boulder Weekly spends more time and invests more resources on our political coverage each and every autumn than any other single subject. And that’s the reason Boulder Weekly will not follow suit with a growing list of media — including Boulder’s mainstream daily newspaper, the Camera — which have increasingly eschewed their responsibility to be a trusted, authoritative source for the citizens of their communities to make the best possible decisions with respect to the laws and leaders that govern our lives.

We understand that the decisions you make when you fill out your election ballot are the most important decisions you have to make, as the results have an effect at one time or another on each and every one of the 10 areas outlined above, as well as the many others that might be somewhat less life-defining. In short, the decisions you make in your day-to-day life are ultimately derivative of the decisions you make as a voter. Therefore, it is vital that your votes be cast only after being fully informed and well-advised.

But how many of us have the time or even the inclination to properly research the ever-expanding list of ballot initiatives and candidates begging and, in some cases, lying for our votes? In the midst of our busy lives very few of us are able to do this one on our own, and just as we rely on experts to advise us on which car to buy or what parenting techniques to use, we need a trusted, expert source to help us decide how to fill out the ponderously long and complicated ballot that is arriving in the mail.

During the past few months, weeks and days, Boulder Weekly has been exhaustively investigating each initiative and every candidate on your ballot with an eye towards providing our readers the most comprehensive source of information on the 2013 election. For instance, we have personally visited with each and every candidate running for Boulder City Council, gotten to know them, asked them tough questions and observed their body language as they provided their answers. We are experts on the 2013 election and we feel it is our obligation to provide that expertise to our readers, with so much hanging in the balance of how you vote.

But here’s the most important point: You can trust Boulder Weekly because you know where we stand. And part of how you know where we stand is because of the endorsements we make. No matter what they tell you, media that fail to make endorsements do so because they think it’s good for business. Maintaining neutrality, they believe, will prevent offending anyone. And if they don’t offend anyone they will be rewarded, they reason, by the non-offended folks that control the purse strings of big advertising budgets.

Boulder Weekly takes sides because we care about you more than we care about big advertising budgets. You can trust that. We care to make sure you know who isn’t being completely truthful in their election propaganda so that you won’t become their victim. Trust that. We dig deep to ensure that the stories behind the stories are told, so that the community you live in and raise your children in is as safe and fair as possible. Trust that, too.

We make endorsements because we want you to know where we stand. Because we believe it is more important that you trust us than agree with us. Trust that.

Respond: letters@boulderweekly.com